A while back, I went to visit family in Nottingham. I wouldn’t say my relationship with them was rocky or anything like that, I knew they are always there when I need them but, I hadn’t seen them in almost a year and I was feeling guilty about it. So off I went, not knowing what to expect.
Now it’s important to note that I was at a point in my life, where I was physically and mentally drained. I felt stagnant and things weren’t going the way I had planned after graduating. What I was certain of though, was that time away from my daily environment and much needed perspective, was long overdue.
The few days I was there really opened my eyes. I was given love, support, prayers and life advice, insight – especially on relationships and friendships.
“The reason that things aren’t going your way, is because you’ve lost focus and have misplaced your priorities. The relationships you’ve had with people, has caused you to forget yourself and what you need to be doing to secure your future. What you need to do is refocus on God and prioritise yourself. Think about the woman you want to be. Are you taking steps to become that person? If the answer is no, take stock of your life – what are you doing? What habits do you need to let go of? What relationships do you need to let go of and which ones do you need to build and make stronger?”
This statement gave me a lot of food for thought. I had already heard this from my Mum (Mums know everything) but hearing somebody else say it – I finally LISTENED.
I had to really think about who I was giving my time to and what I was prioritising.
Relationships and friendships are a vital part of life. How were the relationships I had with people affecting me? What was I bringing to the table? Changes needed to be made…
A relationship is the way in which two or more people or things are connected, or the state of being connected. It also means the way in which two or more people or groups regard and behave towards each other.
From the definitions of relationships, I can count on one hand the number of friends I have. Sure, there are people in my life that I get along with, but they don’t really KNOW the real me.
After spending time soaking in all the wisdom I could get from my extended family, all I could think about was the kind of relationships I wanted moving forward, and what I needed to do to become someone people enjoyed being around.
I stumbled across a series on Youtube from Transformation Church on “Relationship Goals.” led by Mike Todd, who’s the lead Pastor. It covered everything from singleness and marriage, to sex and having the right friendships. I’d been seeing people post on social media about Pastor Mike Todd’s teaching – I never paid attention to it, until now…
Here’s the link to Part 8 of the series Relationship Goals.
He goes through many different types of relationships and friendships and why some of them need to end. Even though he uses the Bible to back up what he’s saying, you can still take key points away from it even if you aren’t a Christian or religious.
The series really opened my eyes to the mistakes I made in the past in choosing friends and forming relationships.
On reflection: –
- Some of the problems that I face are because of the people I embrace. Now, I’m not saying that I blame other people for my problems but, I allowed my decisions in certain situations to be influenced by people that I shouldn’t have. Because I had the fear or missing out (FOMO) and/or didn’t want to be an outsider. This is otherwise known as, giving in to peer pressure.
1 Corinthians 15:33 says, bad company corrupts good character.
I found my character traits were changing because of the influences around me. I put an end to it by saying “no”, not joining in with things that made me feel uncomfortable or I knew were wrong.
- Friends are there to make you better. I realised some “friends” I had were not really friends. I had one particular “friend” from the end of Secondary School and all through College, who found every opportunity to show off and boast about doing things better than me. Whatever advice she would give, it was never centered around how to make a situation better, but worse or work to her advantage. Her attributes were rubbing off me and I didn’t realise it until someone else (who’s a great friend) called me out on it.
You need friendships that will make you a better person and build you up, not tear you down.
Proverbs 27: 17 says, as iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. It’s important to have friends that you can learn from and can learn from you.
- For me to be a good friend to somebody, I need to first make sure that I am focused on God, getting rid of everything that might get in the way; this includes people.
In the Christian faith, it’s important to seek Good first, especially when it comes to any kind of relationship.
I said previously, that I can count on one hand the number of friends I have – I put an end to the ones that were bad for me. I looked within myself and thought back to what I gave up in these friendships. On reflection, I noticed that I lost myself – I wanted to fit in the “cool kids.” I used to look for and hang around with people who looked like they were having the most “fun”. It was a facade and didn’t always end well.
I’m more self-aware now. I know what I’m looking for in my friendships and relationships moving forward. I have let go of the ones that I know didn’t do me any good. In this season of growth, I’m working on myself, taking steps to nurture good friendships that will help me on my journey with God and where I can be a blessing.
Peace & Love ❤ 🙂